Airplane Baby Quilt – Quilted!

Finally! After a nice bout with the seam ripper (anyone seeing a theme? someday I’m gonna calculate how many inches I rip out…) I managed to line everything up and sew it together with the planes facing the right direction. I had everything laid out neatly on the floor, yet I still managed to completely screw it up. Luckily I only had to rip apart one row (24″ – but who’s counting?)

The quilt top, all nice and together and quilted and – wait, why is it off on the right?


I spent a good hour on the ground, smoothing and pinning and lining up and smoothing and pinning some more, and it STILL doesn’t come together right. The backside has several bumps and ridges…um, character for the baby to touch? Right, I was going for the tactile thing! Besides, you can totally tell it’s handmade this way!


I’m still debating if there’s enough lines to hold it together or if I should do everything again, six inches off from the first lines. (In half again.) But that would mean having to follow an arbitary mid-point instead of the actual one, and I barely stayed along the line for the first set! But, well, I think it needs it… And I could always measure and pin the midpoints.

Also, I’m convinced the whole quilt process wouldn’t go awry if I had a long-arm.

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 10:06 pm  Comments (1)  

Airplane Baby Quilt – Sewing Together the Plane

I finally figured out what I was doing wrong on the airplane! I needed to match up the pieces side-by-side first, and then flip one side. (I thought I had tried this, but apparently not…) Of course, I’m not the best at flipping, so there’s still been some seam ripping. I wonder if using a piece of tape will help? For some reason, the bottom half of the plane is harder than the top half.

I was also positive I had cut the wings wrong, as the top was a good 1/2″ shorter than the top half of the plane. But I went to a local quilt shop to sign up for classes (yay, real knowledge!) and the lady assured me I was over-thinking it. With 1/4″ seams, it will, of course, line up perfectly. She also told me my seams were good and I was probably a little beyond the basics of the beginner class. But since I’ve never had any classes, I’m gonna do it anyway!

So from there, I cut all the pieces for all four airplane blocks, and have been steadily sewing them together. (Mom, I’m using the ‘keep sewing and don’t cut threads in between’ technique we saw on Simply Quilts. I’m sure it’s a common technique but I always think of you and the show when I do it!)


Two finished blocks and the blue blocks laid out on the ground. The border will be the AF fabric. Because I have more of that leftover than the blue. Each airplane block is rotated so the planes will look like they’re flying in a circle.


Close-up of one block. I cut each tail triangle special to get the AF logo on it. Oooh, special!

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 9:07 am  Comments (1)  

Airplane Baby Quilt – Cut and Attempted Sewing

I’m done talking to the seam ripper right now. I’ve ripped out the first seam three times now. ARGH! This would be one of those times I wish I knew what I was doing!

Today I laid out the pattern pieces for the Air Force fabric and cut it. Only one of each, because if I’m wrong, I don’t want to waste too much fabric. And I’m usually wrong. I am rather proud of myself – the tail triangle fit perfectly on the AF logo, so each tail will boast the proper insignia.


Then I spent some time trying to sew the first side of blue sky to the AF plane, and I cannot for the life of me get it to line up. Matching it end to end didn’t work. Pinning it at the seam and flipping it where it looked right didn’t work. Twice. Silly me for thinking this was easy! I don’t think I’m trying again until we get back from our weekend trip. So any suggestions…?


Oh, and I sure hope the poor baby isn’t allergic to cats. (Not that there’s not cat hair EVERYWHERE. I miss the Ionic Breezes.)

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Airplane Baby Quilt – Fabric & Pattern (Updated with better pattern!)

A friend is having a baby boy, and they actually like the Air Force. So picking out her baby quilt was pretty simple – I knew I wanted planes on it. Then I saw that Hobby Lobby actually carries an Air Force fabric. Woohoo! Makes my life easier – what could be better than planes made out of planes? (Other than having a husband who doesn’t point out that the father doesn’t fly the A-10, the featured plane on the fabric. Thanks, dear. Hush!)

A quick lap around Hobby Lobby’s fabric section yielded a smoky-blue cotton for the “sky” and another five to ten laps finally led to the discovery of some matching flannel in the clearance section, of all places. Baby boy flannel selections suck if you’re not looking for John Deere or frogs. The one I got is a really good match for the front side, so thank goodness for the clearance rack!

Now here’s where some quilt know-how would come in handy. I had NO CLUE how much fabric to buy. I’m doing nine blocks of 12″ squares. The “sky” needs five blocks on its own, then four triangles within the plane blocks. There’s only four plane blocks, but there’s a lot of pieces in each one, so leaving for seam allowances… I bought a yard of each and am hoping for the best. Besides, it’s Hobby Lobby – likely the same fabrics will be there forever if I need more! (Which is not true, as I learned on a later trip.)


(Interesting sidenote: the Air Force has a commemorative quilt, made in 1997 for the 50th anniversary. The 75th anniversary is the same year my husband is eligible for retirement. I wonder if they’ll do a quilt that year. I wonder if we’ll still be in the Air Force that year!)

And the pattern. I’ve been surfing around for this one for, um, we’ve known it’s a boy since October? But I stumbled across this page a long time ago, maybe hunting for a plane block for the Wee One, who is obsessed with planes, trains and automobiles. And I always stared at the fourth block, which is the one used on the main quilt on that page.  It’s so close to right, but… The plane isn’t a prop plane, at least not in MY head. So I printed out the pattern, enlarged it to 12×12, and straightened out the nose. Now that looks right! (And look, less cutting and sewing necessary!)


UPDATED: I finally got around to fixing this picture after I discovered that people were actually coming to the blog after Googling “airplane quilt.” It’d be nice to actually have a pattern, huh? This is 8×8 because, well, I don’t have 12×12 paper. Or, apparently, a scanner that’s connected to the computer, hence the picture of the pattern.

Basic pattern is this:

1) Draw a line right down the middle. That’s the bottom of the wing.

2) Mark 2″ above that line on the edge, both sides. Connect the dots. That’s the top of the wing. (For a 6×6 block, I’d go with 1″, for 12×12, 3″.)

3) Midway of the top wing is 4.25″. I marked at 5.5″ and 3″, then drew lines from the top right of the block to make the top of the airplane. If you want it wider, make it wider. If you want it skinnier, well, it’s already pretty tight at the top. Use your own judgment.

4) At the bottom left corner, mark 1″ off each side. Connect the dots. Shake your tail…

5) Mark the bottom of the wing at the exact place the plane “ends” at the top of the wing. I used the lines on my nifty quilting ruler to line it up perfectly. I never use them any other time, so this must be what they’re for.

6) Mark 1/4″ on each side of the top of the tail. Connect the dots from the wing to the tail. Make it skinnier if you want, but too much wider and you won’t really have much room to work!

Today I cut out that pattern and traced everything onto another paper bag with 1/4″ seams. The first one I actually measured 1/4″ out at several points and tried to line everything up….then I realized my cutting ruler has 1/4″ marked on it and all I had to do was follow the line. So much easier! (I told you I was making this up as I went along.) Zipped through the rest of the pieces and cut those out.

Cutting the fabric, so far, has been easy. I had a moment of panic when I thought I hadn’t left enough 12.5″ for the solid blocks, but remembered you CAN get three blocks out of 44″. All five solid skies are cut now, and two of the four plane skies. Tomorrow I’m cutting plane pieces and attempting to sew one together to see if I really planned this out right. I’m prepared to be wrong.

Oh, and baby’s due date? Mid-March. I have a months, tops.

Published in: on February 9, 2009 at 10:20 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,